Acetaldehyde as the first hit of addictive behaviour

  • Angela Cavallaro Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother and Child Care Giuseppe D’Alessandro, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
  • Gianluca Lavanco Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother and Child Care Giuseppe D’Alessandro, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
  • Carla Cannizzaro Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother and Child Care Giuseppe D’Alessandro, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
  • Anna Brancato Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother and Child Care Giuseppe D’Alessandro, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
  • Danila Di Majo Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
  • Marco Giammanco Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
  • Francesco Martines Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences, ENT Section, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
  • Irene Miccichè Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother and Child Care Giuseppe D’Alessandro, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
  • Fulvio Plescia | fulvio.plescia@unipa.it Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother and Child Care Giuseppe D’Alessandro, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Abstract

Unhealthy alcohol use is common in the Western society, which puts risk of health consequences, causing multiple behavioural injuries. Increasing evidence focuses on acetaldehyde, the first metabolite of ethanol, as the mediator of the several behavioural actions of alcohol, including its rewarding and motivational effects. In particular, acetaldehyde induces dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens modulating primary alcohol rewarding effect, drug seeking, and relapse behaviour. Recent behavioural studies point at acetaldehyde as a drug of abuse since its oral self-administration is induced and maintained in an operant/conflict paradigm. These findings provide further evidence on the role played by the acetaldehyde as a mediator of the effects of alcohol and focus attention on this molecule to arrange a more effective strategy, aimed at the prevention and treatment of alcohol abuse. Thus, the aim of this review is to summarize latest results on the role of acetaldehyde as the mediator of ethanol-central effects focusing on its capacity to induce an addictive behaviour.

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Published
2016-12-20
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Section
Review Articles
Keywords:
Acetaldehyde, Ethanol-related effects, Addictive behaviour
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How to Cite
Cavallaro, A., Lavanco, G., Cannizzaro, C., Brancato, A., Di Majo, D., Giammanco, M., Martines, F., Miccichè, I., & Plescia, F. (2016). Acetaldehyde as the first hit of addictive behaviour. Journal of Biological Research - Bollettino Della Società Italiana Di Biologia Sperimentale, 89(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/jbr.2016.6206